Gentle refresh for Volvo XC90

When Volvo Car South Africa first showed the XC90 to the public during the Ocean Race stopover in Cape Town the true import and magnatude of the design styling megajump to modernity was rather lost considering the glitz, glamour and clamour of the boats and activities around it.

At the official launch in 2015, where the car became the central figure, the new thinking in Volvo design became very clear, bolstered by the fact news from abroad was already showing similar processign for the XC60 and the flagship sedan.

New Volvo XC90 Inscription T8 Twin Engine in Birch Light Metallic

Now, the XC90 has been given a refresh that sees the T-shaped ‘Thor’s Hammer’ DRL lights and the iron mark continue with new wheels added and a six-seat configuration in the mix.

“The overall impression, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the key elements of the Swedish lifestyle: the generous space, the celebration of light and the focus on well-being,” says Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa.

New Volvo XC90 Inscription T8 Twin Engine in Birch Light Metallic

The most striking interior feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of the in-car control system. This system is virtually button free and is an innovative way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services. It also helps create an interior that is modern and spacious.

“The interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture,” says Maruszewski.

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As well as ample space for passengers, there is a flexible load compartment with up to 1 856 litres of space.

The 2020 XC90 can be ordered with a range of different seating configurations. From the seven-seat family SUV, to the brand new six-seat configuration, the XC90 has been created to best fits people’s preferences and lifestyles. New interior materials including a slate grey upholstery and new décor inlays offer further options for personalisation.

The New Volvo XC90 Inscription T8 Twin Engine in Birch Light Metallic

The top-of-the-line system in the XC90 features a 1 476-Watt Class D amplifier and 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. The subwoofer – a Fresh Air design – is integrated in the car, which means the volume of the passenger compartment is used as a resonance chamber. The subwoofer is located in the right rear wheel well and the air for the speaker element is taken from the wheel well. In practice the passengers are sitting inside a speaker enclosure. Using this design, a speaker does not need to take up so much space within the car.

The second-generation XC90 came with two world-first safety aids: Run-off Road Protection and automatic emergency braking at junctions. Should the car inadvertently leave the road, Run-off Road Protection automatically tightens the front seatbelts to keep occupants in the safest possible position.

To help prevent spinal injuries, a collapsible energy-absorbing section between the front seats and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can occur if the car lands on a hard surface. The XC90 was also the first car in the world to feature automatic emergency braking that activates if the driver turns into the path of an oncoming vehicle at a junction.

The new XC90 offers a range of 2,0-litre, four-cylinder powertrains coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The turbo-charged diesel engine equipped to the Volvo XC90 D5 Geartronic AWD delivers 173 kW at 4 000 r/min and 480 Nm of torque from 1 750 r/min. The XC90 T5 AWD is equipped with a 187 kW petrol engine, which features a high-pressure turbo. It delivers 350 Nm of torque at 1 500 r/min to 4 800 r/min. Fuel consumption is a claimed 7,6 l/100 km.

The supercharged and turbo-charged petrol engine equipped to the Volvo XC90 T6 Geartronic AWD delivers 235 kW of power at 5 700 r/min and torque of 400 Nm at 2 200 r/min – 5 400 r/min. It consumes 8,0 l/100 km (combined).

The New Volvo XC90 Inscription T8 Twin Engine in Birch Light Metallic

The range-topping Volvo XC90 T8 Geartronic AWD has a 300 kW (235 kW + 65 kW) petrol engine that is also supercharged and turbo-charged. It works in conjunction with an electric motor, delivering power of 300 kW (235 kW + 65 kW) and torque of 640 Nm (400 Nm + 240 Nm). Fuel consumption is 2,1 l/100 km (combined) while emissions are a low 49 g/km.

 Volvo Car South Africa is launching a new R-Design version distinguished by 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, black door mirrors and a gloss black mesh front grille. Inside, there are leather/nubuck sports seats and a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel complete with gearshift paddles.

R-Design XC90s also get a powered front passenger seat with memory function (to match the driver’s seat), sports pedals, black headlining and upgraded interior lighting. There’s even an exclusive R-Design leather-clad remote key fob.

The New Volvo XC90 Inscription T8 Twin Engine seat configuration

The 2020 XC90 comes standard with Volvo On Call and, according to Maruszewski, Volvo on Call is a key to the digital world.

“One app gives Volvo drivers control over their car’s functions. It also provides access to a world of convenient services,” he says.

“It becomes your personal assistant. It can tell you about the best coffee spots in town and send the destination to your car’s navigation system. It knows when you have appointments, where they are and how to get you there.

“Motorists who forget to lock their car will get a notification message. And Volvo On Call automatically contacts the emergency services if you are involved in an accident and tells them where you are,” Maruszewski explains.

Volvo On Call is entirely free of charge for five years. Thereafter, it can be extended for a fee.

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Author: Colin Windell

Colin Windell is an apprentice retiree, petrolhead, rock music addict, lover of fine food and has been writing about cars for more than 40 years.

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